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February '07 News Archive


2/26/07 - The Dukes of Hazzard:  Release 2
Posted over at the HobbyTalk forum was the announcement of a SECOND release of cars from The Dukes of Hazzard:

Dukes of Hazzard Assortment 2
General Lee (Zinger)
Daisy’s Jeep (dirty)
Hughie Hogg’s 60s Beetle
General Lee (black)
(Boss Hogg's) Gray Ghost Jr. ’68 Camaro
Chickasaw County Patrol car
Enos’ Patrol Car
General Lee (regular)

I don't mind a few more cop cars, but where's Uncle Jesse's Pick-Up?  What about a Mustang to race The General?  Hughie Hogg's VW?  Oh well.  Expect this series to hit pegs in September.


2/23/07 - K.I.T.T. - The Next Generation?
Word on the street is Knight Rider the movie is in pre-production with a tentative 2008 release date.  A Koenigsegg (pictured above) is rumored to be cast in the role of K.I.T.T. 


2/22/07 - Sponsor News
Sponsor RPM Diecast has announced a 10% discount to visitors of Hollywood Die-Cast.  When placing your order (online or by phone) mention the code HWD to receive your discount. Use the link at the right or above.



2/21/07 - Warning!  Hazzard-ous!
After giving up hope of finding them locally, I purchased a case of Dukes of Hazzard cars from sponsor Movie Car Mania.  The case included 3 x General Lee, 2 of each of the following:  Dirty General Lee, Daisy's Jeep, Daisy's Plymouth, Cooter's Camaro, and only one Sheriff Rosco's patrol car.  I have to admit I'm very pleased with this collection.  Even though three of these cars were offered as part of Johnny Lightning's Hollywood on Wheels series, at least they made corrections to two of the vehicles.  Upon closer inspection, it looks like they got the General's rims right, and they changed the deco on the Jeep to read Dixie instead of Daisy.  Very nice!  The key to this series, however, is Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane's Dodge Monaco, which was included in my Top Ten Wish List after tallying up votes by YOU.  I just wish there was more than one per case.  And finally, I love the idea of including a magnet with each car.  I'm a refrigerator magnet kind-of-guy.

Nice job Johnny Lightning!  I hope the series doesn't end here.  Here's what I'd like to see in the next series:  Boss Hogg's Caddy, Uncle Jesse's Pick-up, a couple of Mustangs for the General to race, and maybe Cooter's Wrecker, even though Matchbox just recently released it as an exclusive through Cooter's Place.


*some of the above pics were found at www.imcdb.org


2/21/07 - Sponsor News
Everyone please welcome another new sponsor to this website.  Terry Ballard of www.diecastjunkers.com creates amazingly realistic 1:18 scale dioramas.  A few days ago I posted photos of his incredible Bullitt diorama.  I asked Terry a few questions about his work:

How long does it take you to create a piece?  Time for these range from two weeks to a month, depending on complexity.  I still have a full time day job, so these dioramas are evenings & weekends.
 
What materials do you work with?  Mostly wood.  Lots of popsicle sticks & coffee stir sticks!  Plaster, paper mache, and model railroad material.
 
Do you work from photos, or from imagination? All my scenes come from my imagination, but I can work from a photograph.
 
Do you take requests?  All my orders are requests, special orders, etc.
 
Do you only work in 1:18 scale?  Would you ever do 1:64 scale?  1:18 is my scale - I can see it the best, & get more detail!
 
Who are some notable people who own one of your pieces? "Famous" customers include Alan Jackson, George Barris, and Corey Banks (Dukes stunt driver)
 
What are some TV or movie scenes you'd like to tackle?  Movie scenes I'd like to do:  Vanishing Point (the end), Christine, Batman, and many more!

Welcome aboard Terry!  To visit Diecast Junkers click on the link in the right column.


2/20/07 - Mark Your Calendar
I got an e-mail from "Andy" alerting me to the announcement that the sequel to The Italian Job will go into production with a 2008 release.  The title?  The Brazilian Job.  I also read on www.rottentomatoes.com that Dan Aykroyd announced Ghostbusters 3 is in the works, but it may be done as a CGI film.  Other car movies to look forward to:

4/6/2007 - Grindhouse
7/4/2007 - Transformers
2008 - The Dark Knight
2008 - Speed Racer (directed by The Wachowski brothers and starring Keanu Reeves.)


2/18/07 - Number One with a Bullitt
Check out this 1:18 scale diorama that's up for auction on eBay right now.  The seller, Terry Ballard, put an awful lot of work into recreating this scene from Bullitt, going as far as including figures in the cars, and using special brackets to make the cars seem airborne.  The auction ends on Tuesday, February 20.  Check it out by clicking HERE

Also check out Terry's website www.diecastjunkers.com to see some amazingly realistic dioramas.  This guy is an ARTIST. 


2/16/07 - The Sopranos Gets "Made"
Jada Toys continues to dabble in the entertainment die-cast arena with the announcement that the company plans to release vehicles from the hit HBO series The Sopranos.  A Hummer H2 and a Cadillac Escalade will make up a 1:64 scale boxed set.  This follows the release of vehicles from Scarface and The Godfather.  Hmmmm.  Anyone else notice a trend here?  What's next?  Vehicles from Goodfellas?  Actually, that would be pretty cool, too.  Keep 'em coming Jada.  Click HERE for more info.


2/15/07 - Which Came First ... Chick or the Egg?
Look for these to hit stores in time for Easter.  I wouldn't mind getting a few in my basket, along with Hamm.  Green Eggs and Hamm!  Get it???  Thank you.  I'm here all night.  Tip your waitstaff.

UPDATE:  Longtime contributor (and joke writer) Metro Privratsky e-mailed me with photos of two more releases.  I don't know about you, but I'm egg-static.  This is egg-citing.  I'm... um... ah... okay, I'm done.


2/15/07 - The Man with the Golden ... Car.
Sponsor Movie Car Mania has all sorts of new, cool stuff, including new James Bond cars from Minichamps:

Movie Car Mania is proud to announce that we are now carrying MiniChamps die cast cars.  We received our first shipment of MiniChamps from their James Bond collection.  The first two cars are the limited edition gold plated James Bond 'Casino Royale' Aston Martin DBS and the James Bond 'You Only Live Twice' Toyota 2000 GT. .We will be adding more James Bond cars from MiniChamps as well as the Steve McQueen Triumph motorcycle from "The Great Escape".

They've also received shipments of die-cast cars from Cars, Dukes of Hazzard, Batman Begins, The Godfather and MORE.  Click on the link in the right column to visit Movie Car Mania today.


2/14/07 - "Straight'nin' the curves, flat'nin' the hills"
Despite the bad news announced recently by RC2, it seems they still have some things up their sleeve for the remainder of 2007.  I got some pretty cool news by Dave Nichols of DetoursDiecast.  Here's what Dave had to say in a recent e-mail:

RC2 recently announced they'll be doing the 1968,1969, and 1970 Dodge Chargers in their high detail Authentics series. This will be an all new mold, not a rehash of the existing 68-70 Charger mold. What may be of interest to you is that this series of Chargers will include an all-new high detail General Lee. I've talked with the American Muscle/Authentics Product Manager at RC2 about some items that should be corrected from the current model, like those Vector wheels. I've also been contacted by James Shine, president of the Lee1 group (the organization that recently restored the #1 General Lee), who has shown interest in helping RC2 get the details of the model as accurate as possible, so I'm trying to put these two parties in touch with one another. If you're interested, you can read more about Lee1 at http://www.generalleeone.com.
 
While the Hot Wheels 1/18-scale 1966 Batmobile has got to be the best thing coming down the pike for 1/18-scale movie car collectors, something we've been asking for for a really long time, I have to say the idea of getting a higher detail, more accurate 1/18-scale General Lee is almost as exciting, at least for me.
 
No official release date has been set yet on the Authentics General Lee, but it will more than likely be towards the end of 2007. As soon as I get pictures of the first decorated samples, I'll be sure to share them.

For more pics and info, click HERE.


2/14/07 - Sponsor News
Please welcome a brand new sponsor to Hollywood Die-Cast.  RPM Diecast.com offers a wide variety of racing-related merchandise and is a good source for hard-to-find Cars product.  As a matter of fact, RPM is taking pre-orders on the Cars items shown at Toy Fair '07, including Dinoco Chick, Michael Schumacher Ferrari, and Yeti.  Visit RPM by clicking on the link above or in the right column.


2/13/07 - The Seven-Ups
Rummaging through the El Cheapo DVD bin at Wal*Mart, I came across the 1973 film The Seven-Ups.  I heard the movie featured a pretty spectacular car chase, so I decided to pick it up.  The Seven-Ups refers to a prison sentence (seven years and up) which is also the name of a secret division within the NYPD made up of officers who don't quite go by the book.  The movie is a gritty cop drama in the same vein as Bullitt and The French Connection, and it's not a coincidence, because they're all produced by Philip D'Antoni, who also directed The Seven-Ups.  As a film, it was entertaining, but not of the same caliber of those other two films.  As for the car chase, it ranks right up there with the all-time great chases caught on film.  Roy Scheider's character drives a '73 Ventura Hatchback (above left) and the bad guys are in a '73 Pontiac Grand Ville Sedan.  The speed and excitement make for a thrilling chase.  According to the interesting featurette Anatomy of a Chase found on the DVD, the ten-minute chase took four weeks to film.  I don't want to give anything away, but I strongly recommend this DVD to anyone who considers himself a car chase buff.  Just the behind-the-scenes featurette is worth the price alone, and the movie isn't too bad.  The above photos were found on www.imcdb.org

Does it crack my Top 10 Movie Car Chases?  It would be difficult to remove one of my top ten to make room for The Seven-Ups, but it comes awfully close.


2/11/07 - "Put the evidence in the car."
I've always wanted to do this.  I took Sheriff Buford T. Justice's cruiser (an extra I had lying around) and decided to "customize" it to look like it sustained some of the damage seen in Smokey & The Bandit.  It didn't take a lot of skill, just a cutting tool and a steady hand. 


2/11/07 - New Cars Unveiled at Toy Fair '07
Photos have been posted on www.figures.com revealing upcoming Cars characters.  Among those on display are a red version of Ramone, Yeti from Monsters, Inc., Bling McQueen and Tongue McQueen.  Click HERE for complete coverage.


2/11/07 - HW Batmobile Update
I just recently noticed that the Batmobile offered by George Barris and the Batmobile arriving in stores are on two different cardbacks (see comparison above.)  Barris' verions reads "2007 New Models" while the more common version reads "2007 First Editions."   I'm told only Barris received the New Models edition (2 cases) and when they're gone, they're gone.  I've gotten several e-mails from collectors who complained to me about the asking price going up on the signed editions, from $75 to $200.  Let me ask you this, what would YOU do if you sold something for $75 and saw people turn around and sell it on eBay for $300???  So please don't blame the Barris family, blame the money-hungry dealers and the collectors with too much money who drove the price up.  Personally, I'd never part with the jewel of my collection for any price.

Also, the website 1966Batmobile.com has exclusive photos of George Barris holding what looks like a resin prototype of the 1:18 scale Batmobile.  Click HERE to view.


2/11/07 - For Sale:  Used '59 Cadillac Ambulance
My buddy Tim tipped me off to this chance of a lifetime.  The Ecto-1 is up for grabs to anyone with $150 Grand burning a hole in his pocket.  Click HERE for all the details.


2/10/07 - My First and LAST K-Mart Day
Just got back from K-Mart Day and was thoroughly disappointed.  I arrived about a half-hour early and was given a numbered ticket.  About 8 or 9 guys stood around chatting and waiting for the event to start.  As it got closer to 9am, more and more people showed up.  At 9am, the store manager announced there were only 24 cases for the 40+ people that had arrived.  At 9am, they started drawing numbers and handing out cases.  Of course, my number wasn't called.  As I watched people going through cases, not one person found a '66 Batmobile.  And I heard only one person got a Treasure Hunt, out of 24 cases!   My brother called me from another store saying he actually got to open a case, but NO Batmobiles and not ONE PERSON got a Treasure Hunt.  I should've stayed in bed.  But since I'm up, I'm going to have some Capn' Crunch and watch cartoons to cheer myself up.


2/8/07 - Coming Up from Cars
Mike in Scotland tipped me off to this upcoming release from the Cars line.  It's referred to as a "carrying case" but it'll make a cool addition to anyone's Cars collection. Coming in Spring of '07.  The above pic was found at RPM.


Edited - 2/7/07 - Let the Bat-Mania Begin!
Apparently, the Hot Wheels Batmobile has officially hit stores, judging by a photo posted in the Hot Wheels Forum.  Click on the link above to see the pic (you have to be a registered member.)  I literally gasped when I saw EIGHTEEN Batmobiles found by one collector.  I hope he left some for the rest of us.  Check your local Kroger store and K-Mart this Saturday.


2/7/07 - "Our fine four-fendered friend."
Ah, what a week.  First the Batmobile, now this.  As a little treat to myself after getting my income tax refund, I purchased something I've been putting off far too long.  In September of '04, it was revealed at the San Diego Comic Con that Stevenson Entertainment Group would be releasing toys from one of my all-time favorite films Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  In addition to figures, a 1:18 scale car would be released as well (in regular and "electroplated" versions.)  Well, here it is, more than two years later and I finally got around to buying the electroplated version of the car.  Part of the reason for the delay is that I've never seen it in stores here in my area, not even hobby shops, so I had to go the eBay route.  Take a look at the pics.  WOW.  This thing is amazing.  It's not die-cast, it's plastic, but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.  It'll display very nicely among (or flying above) my other 1:18 scale cars. 


2/6/07 - Holy Grail, Batman!
Okay, I've thrown around the term "Holy Grail" over the last four years when describing a hard-to-find die-cast vehicle to add to my collection, but never has the term been more appropriate in describing what I received in the mail today.  The Hot Wheels 1966 Batmobile, autographed by George Barris himself (in red), is now a part of my collection!  I have been dreaming about the day when a die-cast company would somehow wrangle the rights to produce this car, arguably, the most famous car in the world.  Yes, Corgi produced the Batmobile as part of the Juniors line, but that was, what, 30 years ago?  Hot Wheels somehow managed to pull it off and now I can finally remove this car from my Wish List.  This is the most exciting moment I've experienced since I started collecting TV and movie die-cast cars.  Click on the thumbs above to check out the pics.  If you'd like to get yours, scroll down and click on the photo of Barris Kustom City and send an e-mail to Joji Barris.


2/5/07 - RAOK
As I popped into the various online forums I visit to keep up on the latest die-cast news, I occasionally came across the acronym "RAOK."  I wasn't sure what it meant until recently, when someone revealed that RAOK stands for "Random Act of Kindness."  Ah, of course.  I've been the recipient of a RAOK many times, and I've tried to "pay it forward" whenever I could.  Well, the latest RAOK I've experienced has come from frequent visitor and contributor to my website and forum "Joe Nest."  Reading that I've been unable to find the Batman Begins Gotham City 5-Pack, he sent one to me, asking nothing in return.  A very special thanks goes out to Joe Nest, and I can only hope to return the favor.  I STILL haven't seen this 5-pack in my area. 

The Gotham City 5-pack includes three vehicles that were offered on single cards in the Batman Begins line:  Tomahawk Batcycle, Tumbler and Batcopter, although comparing them side by side will reveal new color schemes in the 5-pack.  "New" vehicles include a Viper and a black & blue "Fathom This" submarine.  I'm glad I can finally add this to my Batman collection.  Thanks again to Joe Nest.


2/4/07 - New Titanium in Stores
Hitting a few stores over the weekend, I didn't find much, with the exception of the newest series from the Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica Titanium lines.  I passed on most of them, but couldn't resist the cool-looking red Royal Guard TIE Interceptor (above left.)  I also spotted the Dewback, Dagobah X-Wing, The Invisible Hand, and a few from the previous wave, which includes Darth Maul's Sith Speeder, Darth Vader's Sith Starfighter and Blockade Runner.  Also, having been a huge fan of the classic Battlestar Galactica TV series when I was a kid, I picked up the classic Colonial Viper (above right.)  I'm looking forward to adding the classic Cylon Raider to my collection as well when it hits stores soon.  Check out Rebelscum.com for a complete list of Star Wars Titanium vehicles, complete with photos.


2/3/07 - Atomic Batteries to Power!  Turbines to Speed!
I got confirmation on Friday that a special package is on its way to me from California!  It's going to be a looooong week, checking that mailbox every day waiting for its arrival!!!  When it gets here, you can bet I'll post pics right away!!!

UPDATE:  Click on the pic above to go to the Barris Kustom City website.  Send an e-mail to Joji if you're interested in ordering a signed Hot Wheels '66 Batmobile for $75 plus shipping.  It's a much better alternative to paying the astronomical prices I'm seeing on eBay.

2/7 UPDATE:  I heard the price has gone up since I purchased mine.  I'm waiting for official confirmation.

Yet Another UPDATE:  I got confirmation that the price has indeed gone up to $125.  I'm told the supply is drying up quickly.


2/3/07 - 1:18 Scale Checklist Updated
I decided to tidy up the 1:18 scale checklist and add some new entries, as well as a few photos.  Special thanks to Tim Masterson of the U.K. for contributing photos of his collection.  Click HERE to view the checklist.


2/1/07 - Happy Anniversary to ME!
Today marks the FOURTH YEAR that Hollywood Die-Cast has been in existence!  Thanks to all for your support!  Getting my hands on that Hot Wheels Batmobile would be the PERFECT anniversary present to myself!


2/1/07 - Wednesday's Finds
Yesterday I hit a few stores on my way into work.  After a month or more of empty pegs, I finally found a few new things.  At Wal*Mart I stumbled on to full pegs of Movie Moments from Cars.  I FINALLY nabbed Mike & Sully and  Ferrari Fans Guido & Luigi.  Then I turned around and found a lone black Futura from Johnny Lightning (below.)  The Futura never did exist in black, well, at least not until Mr. Barris did some modifications and turned it into the Batmobile.